Monday, 28 Mar, 2011 Science

Latest Invention: Giant Touch and Gesture Controlled Microscope


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A group of scientists composed of members of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and representatives of a Finnish company called Multitouch Ltd developed a large touch and gesture controlled microscope.

The invention makes use of a mix of web-based microscopy and a 46-inch multitouch display. Thus the microscope represents a useful instrument for teaching and learning. Using pinch gestures or handed stretch, the device allows users to zoom images in and out down to 1000x magnification.

It is worth mentioning that web-based virtual microscopy was invented a couple of years ago by researchers from the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere.

The biological samples are placed into a microscopy scanner that digitizes them and afterwards stores on an image server. At high magnification the scanned sample represents a combination of up to 50000 separate digital images arranged into a mosaic. The size of one such image can be up to 200GB, reports Gizmag.

The technology is able to recognize the hands of several users simultaneously. Dr. Johan Lundin, researchers at the University of Helsinki says that the technology can be used at scientific meetings, allowing a group of users to observe and study a microscopy sample, "for example when a consensus needs to be reached concerning a new disease entity or a rare case.".

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